As many as 70 protesters, many carrying torches and smashing windows,
attempted to storm UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau's on-campus residence
late Friday in a violent act condemned by university officials and student
Eight people, including two UC Berkeley students, were arrested on
suspicion of rioting, threatening an educational official, attempted burglary,
attempted arson, felony vandalism and assault with a deadly weapon on a police
officer, the university said.
Some protesters threw incendiary objects at the house in an attack that
left the chancellor and his wife fearing for their lives.
The group was apparently protesting student fee hikes and budget cuts. The
demonstrators chanted "No justice, no peace," as the chancellor slept. His wife
woke him up about 11 p.m.
"These are criminals, not activists," Birgeneau said in a statement
Saturday. "The attack at our home was extraordinarily frightening and violent.
My wife and I genuinely feared for our lives. The people involved in this action
will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I want to emphasize that they
represent an extreme minority of our students.
"UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof said it was a "matter of luck" the
protesters were unable to break into the home before police scattered most of
the crowd. Protesters smashed lights, shattered windows, scattered trash and
flipped over planters, Mogulof said ....
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger issued a statement calling Friday's protest
"terrorism" and said "those who participated will be prosecuted under the
fullest extent of the law." UC President Mark Yudof called the attack
"appalling" and said the "matter is now appropriately in the hands of law
Probably an odd thing to focus on but the report says eight people were arrested including two students. If two were students, who were the other six? Parents of students? High school seniors who had applied to Berkeley? If they aren't students, how does the tuition increase affect them?
My curiosity aside, California has taxed and regulated itself in to a deep, deep hole. It just stands to reason that when a state runs out of people it can tax it is left to cut services and increase fees, even Berkeley students, regardless of how precious they view themselves, are not immune to the realities of life. If there is a solution, the students won't find it by destroying property.